Canada court ruling on key environmental law risks deterring investments – by Nia Williams and Divya Rajagopal (Reuters – October 19, 2023)

Oct 19 (Reuters) – A Canadian court ruling that voided most of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s environmental assessment law for resource projects has sparked fresh policy uncertainty and risks deterring investments, company and industry executives said.

Canada’s Supreme Court dealt Trudeau’s Liberal government a blow last week when it ruled the Impact Assessment Act (IAA) was too broad in designating which major projects should fall under federal environmental assessment.

Already, Canada has a reputation for being a difficult place to build major projects due to high regulatory and environmental hurdles. The prospect of further policy changes risks unnerving investors and industry executives urged Ottawa to amend the legislation quickly.

“We haven’t gotten any sort of concern from investors yet, but I think if the uncertainty draws out in terms of how they’re going to move forward, then that could start to have an impact,” said Mark Selby, CEO of Canada Nickel Company (CNC.V), whose proposed Crawford Nickel Project in northeastern Ontario is going through the IAA process.

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